Wellington, New Zealand, 1st August 2002

( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Colonel Arthur Pickard,
Royal Regiment of Artillery

  • Victoria Cross
  • Companion, Order of the Bath ( CB )
  • New Zealand Medal ( 1860-1866 )
  • Knight, Order of Leopold ( Austria )
  • Commander, Order of St Stanislas ( Russia )

Over many years Daryl Hicks of Waitara, Taranaki, New Zealand, put together a large collection of military memorabilia. Included in the collection was the Victoria Cross awarded to Colonel Arthur Frederick Pickard, Royal Artillery, which Daryl Hicks bought privately in England in 1985. Daryl arranged his military collection as a private museum, the "Ati Awa Museum", and generously allowed the public to enter and view the contents by appointment. The Arthur Pickard Victoria Cross medal group being on visible display.

Daryl Hicks died recently, and according to his wishes his estate and the contents of the "Ati Awa Museum" was sold at auction on Thursday, 1st August 2002 in New Zealand. Included in the sale, carried out by Dunbar Sloane of Wellington, was the Arthur Pickard Victoria Cross medal group which realised $NZ 190.000 ( £56,630 ) hammer price. The VC was purchased on behalf of the Michael Ashcroft Trust, the holding institution for Lord Ashcroft's VC Collection. The group comprised:

During the Maori Campaign in New Zealand on 20 November 1863, during the assault on the enemy's position at Rangiriri, Lieutenant Arthur Pickard, Royal Artillery & Assistant Surgeon William Temple assisted in tending the wounded under fire.

For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 22 September 1864 ]. Rangiriri, New Zealand, 20 November 1863, Lieutenant Arthur Pickard, Royal Regiment of Artillery.

"For gallant conduct during the assault of the Rangiriri Redoubt on 20th November 1863 in exposing their lives to imminent danger in crossing the entrance to the Maori Keep at a point upon which the enemy had concentrated their fire, with a view to render assistance to the wounded, and more especially to the late Captain Mercer of the Royal Artillery. Lieutenant Pickard crossed and recrossed the parapet to procure water for the wounded, when none of the men could be induced to perform this service, the space over which he traversed being exposed to a cross-fire, and testimony is borne to the coolness displayed by him and Assistant-Surgeon Temple under the trying circumstances to which they were exposed."

Arthur Pickard was invested with his Victoria Cross by Major-General Ridley at the Royal Barracks, Dublin, Ireland, on the 13th April 1865.

In later life Arthur Pickard was promoted Colonel, was Equerry to H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught and later Equerry to Her Majesty Queen Victoria. He died on 1st March 1880, aged 35, in Cannes, France, from tuberculosis, and is buried in the Cimitiere Protestant du Grand - Jus Cannes.


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Iain Stewart, 1 August 2002